A sci-fi comic for FutureQuake

FutureQuake #16 Cover ArtIn October 2010 I had a seven-page comic published by FutureQuake, a small independent press with a big following on the UK comic scene. I first stumbled upon their website in the summer and, after seeing their open call for submissions – a window that, in my experience, never stays open for long – I hurriedly dashed off a short comic script that stuck as closely as possible to their house guidelines:

“Our stories often follow the ‘twist in the tale’ setup popularised by EC comics and 2000AD’s Future Shocks, although we are not wedded to the twist element. We can encompass almost any genre or story within the rough boundaries of sf/fantasy/horror/romance/comedy or any permutations thereof.”

The resulting script was a piece of sci-fi set in outer space, with a twist in the tale at the very end. Before I wrote it, a short story by Arthur C. Clarke came immediately to mind, a clever little 1953 vignette called Encounter at Dawn. What I’ve always remembered about this particular story is the power of its closing line – in the space of just a few words, Clarke manages to turn his entire premise on its own head. Not an easy thing to achieve, but it’s a poignant and satisfying effect if you can pull it off… and that’s the effect I was going for with my submission, which I called “Generations”.

FutureQuake accepted the story and teamed me up with a suitable artist – a big relief on my end, as it’s often pretty tough to find a good artist all on your own. I was paired with the talented illustrator David Frankum who, over the course of a month and several dozen emails, helped me to turn my script into a fully realised black-and-white comic. The story was published in the autumn, with nine other short comic strips, in FutureQuake #16. I’ve posted two sample pages of the final artwork below. If you’d like to read the full thing, you can buy a copy of the magazine in the FutureQuake Shop for £3.50. Sorry, I’ve got to support the magazine and encourage their sales!

As ever, your comments are 100% welcome.

Generations: Page 1Generations: Page 3


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